Global demand for avocados has risen rapidly in recent years, yet supplying fruit that consistently meets consumer expectations for quality remains a challenge in the industry. Body rots in avocado fruit are a leading cause of consumer dissatisfaction. Anecdotal evidence suggests that body rot development may be promoted by mechanical injury at harvest and packing, despite the fruit being hard, green and mature (i.e., unripe) at these stages. Here, ‘Hass’ avocado fruit, harvested across multiple fruiting seasons from commercial orchards, were subjected to controlled impact from drop heights of 15–60 cm at the time of harvest or packing. With increasing drop height, body rot development at eating ripe stage generally occurred more frequently and produced larger lesions at the impact site and, in some experiments, elsewhere on the fruit. These findings refute a general belief that green mature avocado fruit can tolerate a degree of rough physical handling without ripe fruit quality being compromised. Ideally, best avocado harvesting and packing practice should recognize that unripe fruit must not experience drop heights of 30 cm or higher.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited